No to war—No to NATO

WILPF Statement issued by the International Board
24 November 2008

In view of the sixtieth anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military organisation in April 2009, we appeal to all people to protest against NATO’s aggressive military and nuclear policies and assert our vision of a just world free of war.

NATO is an increasing obstacle to achieving world peace. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has reinvented itself as a tool for military action by the “international community”, including the promotion of the so-called “war on terror”. In reality it is a vehicle for US-led use of force with military bases on all continents, bypassing the United Nations and the system of international law. It accelerates militarisation and escalates arms expenditure—NATO countries account for 75% of global military expenditure. Pursuing that expansionist agenda since 1991, NATO is designed to advance European and American military powers’ strategic interests and to control natural resources. NATO has waged war in the Balkans, under the guise of so-called “humanitarian war”, and has waged seven years of brutal war in Afghanistan, where the tragic situation is escalating.

In Europe, NATO is worsening tensions, feeding the arms race by installing so-called “missile defence” and bringing and maintaining a massive nuclear arsenal and a nuclear first strike policy. European Union policy is increasingly tied to NATO. NATO’s ongoing expansion into Eastern Europe and beyond, and its “out of area” operations, are making the world a more dangerous place. The conflict in the Caucasus is a clear indication of the dangers. Each advance of the NATO border increases the possibility of war, including the use of nuclear weapons.

We reject military responses to global and regional crises—these are part of the problem not part of the solution. We refuse to live under the terror of nuclear weapons and reject a new arms race. We must decrease military expenditure, directing resources instead to meeting human needs. We must close down all foreign military bases. We oppose all military structures used for military intervention. We must democratise and demilitarise the relations between peoples and establish new forms of peaceful cooperation to build a more secure and just world.

We call on you to spread this message in your communities and movements, to mobilise Anti-NATO protests and to make this vision a reality. We believe that a world of peace is possible.

No to war—No to NATO